Refried Bean and Mushroom Tostadas

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Looking for an easy Meatless Monday recipe? This delicious, protein-packed dinner may be just the ticket! The base of this dish is homemade refried beans made with a mix of heirloom beans. When I made chili last week, I rehydrated a ridiculous amount of beans–way more than I needed for just the chili. I ended up cooking them by themselves, then mashing them and pan frying them with butter and garlic. I was really surprised at how much better they tasted than the fat-free canned refried beans I had been buying. The great thing about making your own refried beans, is you can make a big batch and freeze them for later, so a little front-end work pays off over time!

Refried Beans (makes 4 cups)

  • 4 cups of rehydrated, organic beans
  • 4 tablespoons organic butter or olive oil
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  1. Mash beans with a potato masher.
  2. In a cast skillet, heat butter or oil over medium high heat.
  3. Add beans, garlic and spices and cook while continuing to mash the beans. If beans seem especially dry, add 1/4 cup of water and continue stirring and mashing for about 5 minutes.
  4. Cool and refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to use.

Refried Bean and Mushroom Tostadas (makes 4 servings)

  • 4 tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 2 cups refried beans (or more–up to you!) [see recipe below]
  • 1 large organic yellow onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 10-12 fresh, organic Shitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 2 roasted red bell peppers (or 1 jar of prepared roasted peppers)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen, organic corn
  • 2 cups farm cheese, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (you may need two baking sheets depending on the size of your sheets vs. tortillas).
  2. In a cast iron skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of oil over medium high heat.
  3. Add one tortilla and fry it quickly, about 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and continue adding oil and tortillas until they are all cooked.
  4. In the same skillet, heat the remaining oil and lower heat to medium. Add the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes or until soft. Sprinkle onions with 1/4 teaspoon of kosher or sea salt so onions will release their juices.
  5. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook another 2-3 minutes, until mushrooms soften. Add the red pepper and stir well. Heat through and reserve.
  6. Warm the refried beans in the microwave or in a sauté pan/ skillet.
  7. Assemble the tostadas by putting tortillas on the baking sheet(s) and topping each tortilla with a layer of refried beans. Top with the onion/mushroom mixture.
  8. Sprinkle each with the corn. Top with cheese.
  9. Bake tostadas for 10-12 minutes. The timing will depend on how thick your toppings are.
  10. Serve immediately with chopped tomatoes, guacamole and sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.

Week 43 Budget and Menu

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Our weather has been perfect for mushrooms! The markets are full of fresh Shitake mushrooms this week!

October! October is here!!! It’s still in 80’s here in North Carolina, so we’re not exactly feelin’ the fall weather, but all the same, we know fall is approaching. Leaves are starting to turn, the often oppressive humidity is gone and mosquitoes are fewer in number. Every region has their own seasonal benchmarks. You may have fall hayrides, we have a decline in blood-sucking mosquitoes.

I’d love to have nothing but chili, stew and baked pasta this week, but it’s too warm for such cozy fare. Instead, we are focusing on lighter foods that still feature our seasonal fruits and vegetables. I am especially excited that I found fresh, organic Shitake mushrooms at our downtown farmer’s market! Apparently, our fall weather has been perfect for them!

I also had great success with making my own refried beans this week! It was very easy, and I used some heirloom beans leftover from making chili, so it was a good use of extra food. I made the refried beans  on the bland side so I can add whatever spices I want later. We’re using them on bean tostatas later this week along with some leftover tortillas and cheese. We also have extra corn and leftover crab meat (now frozen) from a few weeks ago and that will make a lovely corn and crab chowder. Don’t you love it when leftover foods come together in something that approximates a meal?

Our budget this week is definitely helped by Tom’s fishing success and a weekly coupon from Locals Seafood. Every little bit helps, especially when the cost of food keeps rising.

Breakfasts this week include Ezekiel bread, muffins, and probably some whole wheat buttermilk pancakes. We are using our homemade jam, which is wonderful and we will get another jar of local honey in this week’s Produce Box!

I hope you are taking advantage of some wonderful fall produce in your area (or spring if you are in the southern hemisphere!). Have a happy and healthy week!

Budget [$109.51]

  • The Produce Box (acorn squash, honey, sweet onions, lettuce, apples, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow squash, green beans, mixed sweet peppers): $48.00
  • Locals Seafood (shrimp): $10.00
  • Hilltop Farm Organics (Shitake mushrooms): $4.30
  • Mitchell Family Pantry (jam): $3.00
  • Hillsborough Cheese Company (goat cheese): $6.00
  • Trader Joes (pasta, organic rice, organic chicken, frozen fruit, almond milk, almonds): $38.21

Menu for Week 42

  • Wednesday–Roasted red pepper, mushroom and shrimp pasta, salad
  • Thursday–Leftovers (we have some left from last week!)
  • Friday–Game night–Refried bean, mushroom and cheese tostatas
  • Saturday–Corn and crab chowder
  • Sunday–Roast chicken, acorn squash with honey and sage, green beans
  • Monday–Game night–Chicken and vegetable quesadillas
  • Tuesday–Roasted whole fish, squash and zucchini saute
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